New housing starts in November fell to an annual seasonally adjusted rate of 861,000, a decrease of 3% from the revised October rate of 888,000 and a gain of 21.6% above the November 2011 rate of 708,000. A consensus estimate from a survey of economists expected the rate to fall to 865,000.
The seasonally adjusted rate of new building permits rose to 899000, which is 3.6% above the revised October rate of 868,000 and 26.8% higher than the October 2011 rate of 709,000.
Single-family housing starts fell to an annualized rate of 565,000 in November, down 4.1% from the revised October rate of 589,000.
Permits for new single-family homes fell 0.2% in November, to an adjusted annual rate of 565,000, from 566,000 in October.
The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) yesterday reported a second consecutive six-year high in its builder confidence index. But despite improving confidence in the homebuilding sector, new construction of single-family homes remains historically low and far below the peak of about 2.3 million new housing starts in 2006.